Most Affordable (Cheap!) East Bay Summer Camps (2021) - 510 Families
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Most Affordable (Cheap!) East Bay Summer Camps (2021)

Summer camps are back this year and, with all the new restrictions, can be quite expensive (our summer camp guide includes some discount codes!). We have found a few gems available at more affordable prices that you should know about. The following East Bay summer camps are offered for less than $250 per week for approximately full-time coverage. If you qualify, see also free/super cheap programs for low-income families. Other tips to save money on camps are below.

Camp Acta Non Verba urban farming
Camp Acta Non Verba urban farming and more (pre-Covid pic) | Photo: Camp ANV

Affordable East Bay summer camps

Camp Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project (Oakland)

Farming & Cooking and Dance, Wellness Art & Storytelling. One day per week is swimming. Kids earn money from the harvest.
Ages: 5-18
Fees: $225 with discounts for multiple weeks
Register >

Berkeley Day Camp (Berkeley)

Children explore local parks including Tilden Park, Berkeley Marina, and one area beach. Pricing is based on a 3-week session.
Ages: 5-13
Fees: $240 per week (Berkeley resident) | $288 per week (non-resident)
Register >

BMuZ Music Camps (Berkeley)

Band, Jazz, Strings, Fiddle, Guitar, and Choir Camps are offered through Berkeley educators from June 7-11 only.
Grades: 6-9
Fees: $220 per week for a half-day of camp, $350 for a full day of Dance Camp
Learn more >

Recreation and Team Sports (Berkeley)

RATS is a play-all-day summer day camp where kids of all ability levels are encouraged to participate. Offered in four 2-week sessions, 8 am to 5:30.
Grades: 3rd-8th
Fees: $225 per week
Register >

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The “Rec” Summer Camp (Emeryville)

Traditional summer camp experience with weekly themes. Fees based on 2-week sessions, 7:30 am to 5:30.
Grades: TK-8th
Fees: $150 per week (Emeryville resident) | $155 per week (non-resident)
Register >

Town Camp (Oakland)

Traditional summer day camp program in and around Oakland neighborhoods. Discover the treasures around town. Fees based on 4-week sessions.
Ages: 5-12
Fees: $180 sliding scale (Oakland resident) | $216 (non-resident)
Learn about Town Camp > 

World of Wonder (Alameda)

Traditional summer day camp program with field trips.
Grades: 1st-5th
Fees: $247
Register >

kids going to Angel island
Berkeley Day Camp takes an outing to Angel Island (pre-Covid pic) | Photo: Berkeley Day Camp

7 Tips to save money on summer camps

Not all of these tips will work for every family or every camp but you might surprise yourself and lop off $100+ with some scheduling flexibility or creativity. Don’t be afraid to ask.

  1. Find a deal. Our summer camp guide includes dozens of discount codes.
  2. Scholarships. Ask the summer camps staff for a scholarship or need-based rate.
  3. Sign up a sib. There are often multiple kid rate discounts for families or friends.
  4. Bundle. Sign up for more than one week. There are often multi-week discounts available.
  5. Reduce. If you have the flexibility to shorten your hours or days of care, you can save a chunk of change.
  6. Think Rec. Local parks and recreation departments offer great deals for residents, especially if you don’t need full-time care.
  7. Barter. Get creative. Can you make a trade? Do you have a skill that would benefit the camp? Can you prepare snack or run errands to help the staff in order to defray costs?

Did we miss your favorite lower-cost camp option? Help a family out and share it in the comments!

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